As we previously reported, Dan Radcliffe will soon be returning to Broadway for The Cripple of Inishmaan, in which he starred last year on London’s West End. In a new interview with Broadway Direct, he discusses the challenges of the play and says he is glad to reprise the role.
"I’m just so excited about coming back to work in New York with this play. As always, I hope that people who come to see this play get treated to a fantastic story, and hopefully we tell it well."
The story is of “Cripple Billy,” a disabled teenage orphan living in a small village in Ireland in 1934. Village life is disrupted when news gets out that a movie is being filmed in the area. The role involves performing with a specific regional accent, which Dan says made him very nervous at first.
"I was the only English actor in the cast. But when I got in there I realized that actually nobody from our show is actually from that specific area of Ireland, and this is unlike any other Irish accent."
As for portraying a physically disabled person, Dan had a lot of work to do. The play doesn’t specify Billy’s disability, so he had to infer from the text that Billy had a type of cerebral palsy called hemiplegia.
"I worked with a woman who is a vocal coach but who also has that type of cerebral palsy. We worked together, on and off for about three months before rehearsals started, just learning about the condition and the mechanics of it and how that affects people in everyday life."
He also credits Harry Potter for giving him a love for these types of physical challenges.
"Potter was a very physical role, and I got to do so many stunts and so many different types of getting hit or falling or climbing up something. There are a couple of very physical moments in Cripple for Billy – one is at the end of the show, and [there's another] one, a moment early on, where he has to climb down a wall in our production. The fact that I get to do so many different things is one of the parts of my job that make it incredibly fun."
Tickets for The Cripple of Inishmaan are on sale now! The play will run from April 20 to July 20, with previews beginning on April 12. Are you going to see Dan in his new Broadway stint?